iván BRAVE

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You have to be a poet (a proof by mathematical induction)

21 November 2018
You have to be a poet (a proof by mathematical induction)

You have to be a poet to do just about anything.   You have to be a poet to translate another’s words. Only poets care enough about language to clearly convey one person’s thought to a different person’s understanding. Any other type of translator will blur the message. The best translators are then as transparent […]

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My Present Tense: a typical full day

14 November 2018
My Present Tense: a typical full day

This morning I assigned my students two simple writing prompts, exercising the present tense. They had to use the words “as soon as,” “first,” “next,” “then,” “before/after,” and “when.” We all learned. For example, I realized, as I chalked the prompts on the blackboard, that “when” plays as the middle child between “before” and “after.” […]

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The Summer Abroad: a publishing update, as we end the fall

7 November 2018
The Summer Abroad: a publishing update, as we end the fall

Three dark themes stalk this journey into self-publishing: Bursts of tinkering, troubleshooting, and anxiety.   Of course there are luminous elements holding hands with me as we progress. But those lights shine in between and at the end of the journey.   Last Friday, I received the edited draft from the professor-editor who agreed to […]

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What NYC means to me and what it’s like to live here

31 October 2018
What NYC means to me and what it’s like to live here

A buddy sent me this sketch from College Humor last Sunday, which satirizes the stereotypes Americans have against New Yorkers. My favorite part was the joke about NYC getting criticized more than any other city.   “Nobody ever talks shit about Cincinnati,” says the man from Ohio.   “That’s actually a great point,” replies the […]

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A couple of love stories told this summer in the Land of Eng

28 October 2018
A couple of love stories told this summer in the Land of Eng

The stories we tell ourselves set the standards we live by. The love stories from the title, which are three, are to come. But first, a joust.   An architect, a cook, and a writer walk up to a British immigration officer. This is literally what happened when our father, my brother, and I entered […]

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Trailer — Instructions — Newsletter

19 October 2018
Trailer — Instructions — Newsletter

Ice cream. Outer space. Reflex. Lombok, Indonesia. LCD Soundsystem. Bullseye. Zeker. Mosque. Date. По-русски. Brighton Beach. Vial. Malachite. Autobiography. Vanidades. Superman. Zelda. Sk8ter boi. Summer. Twentysomething. Yawp. Kebab. Kiss. Two-hundred hungry loud Texans. Moons. Gray-whiskered and rough. Argos. Estrangement. Imperceptible smile. Low gravity. Cigarette. Astronomy. Burnt-orange bag. Black Hercules. Queso. Parallax and birth control.   Ladies […]

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Success, a NYC interview story

22 October 2018
Success, a NYC interview story

Pasó así, Papá, y aunque pese, como lo viví te lo narro, en inglés:   Completely cut off from chance, no hope, only needs and responsibilities. I got home at 1 PM from working a four-hour at the language school. I would talk about that shift later in the day, when it came to answering […]

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Rounding up to the nearest literary events in New York City, Sept and Oct 2018

17 October 2018
Rounding up to the nearest literary events in New York City, Sept and Oct 2018

This new work schedule, teaching mornings-afternoons-and-evenings, has me standing before a class of eager language learners about forty hours a week, breaks in between classes, so that is most days leaving the house at 6:30 a.m. and coming back at 9 o’clock at night. It ain’t easy, though thrilling, but definitely makes me think twice […]

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Distance, a Lyric (trying to make sense of some senselessness)

13 October 2018
Distance, a Lyric (trying to make sense of some senselessness)

“At a distance, you only see my light / Come closer, and know that I am you” RUMI   Distance. Distance. Poem or essay or lyric on Distance. What are your thoughts, philosophical or not, on such a topic?   [Preamble concludes, deflate the diaphragm, let in air.]   That’s all there is between us, […]

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For poems alongside translations, consider: Relative Genitive, about Father and Son

10 October 2018
For poems alongside translations, consider: Relative Genitive, about Father and Son

Relative Genitive is a brilliant book, presenting the original work of poet-translator Val Vinokur, alongside his translations of works by two of the 20th century’s most influential Russian poets, Osip Mendalstam and Vladimir Mayakovsky. Seriously, full of tasty sounds and bright woven text, simply brilliant. I should know, I was Val Vinokur’s student for two […]

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